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Kitchens & Bathrooms

Wetrooms

Graham Lowry is Bathroom Showroom Manager in our Bangor branch. With over 10 years’ experience in our showrooms designing bathrooms, Graham's knowledge of, and ability to navigate around our vast product range makes the selection and design process easy for home renovators and self-builders. He also has a good understanding of plumbing practices and works closely with contractors. Here he gives us his first hand advice on installing Wetrooms.

The bathroom is a really important room in the house yet self-builders are probably the worst at giving the time and consideration needed to making the most out of it

As a bathroom designer I am clearly going to say that, but the reality is that your bathroom should be right up there with your kitchen when thinking about your home. After all, it is one of the rooms in your house that you will utilise two or three times a day, so thinking about who is going to use it and how it is going to function is essential.

What  is a Wetroom?Wetroom

I’m often asked about Wetrooms; a bathroom solution that has become one of the more popular choices when it comes to making the most out of the space available.  A wetroom is exactly what the term suggests – a room that can get wet. Instead of boxing off your bathroom with a shower in one corner and your toilet and sink in the other, this waterproof room basically becomes your shower enclosure, with drainage inset into your flooring. A full wetroom is one that is completely open plan. However, a growing trend is to add a shower panel to prevent splashing right across the wetroom.

What to consider when making your decision

I have found that many people generally like the concept of a wetroom and in terms of aesthetics it really works. The more floor you can see, the bigger a room seems and as bathrooms are generally small this is a huge advantage. By adding wall-hung sanitary ware, you will also enhance this further while not forgetting that this will also make your bathroom easier to clean and, as a result, more hygienic. Just think you won’t have any of those annoying pipes to clean around anymore!

From a design perspective, a wetroom can utilise your space more effectively. In the past, unusual angles and even circular walls caused massive headaches, but that is not the case when it comes to wetrooms. In fact, we are seeing more and more unusual floor plans where a wetroom provides the perfect solution.

Before deciding on a wetroom you will have to remember that it requires a lot more maintenance simply because you have a lot of surplus water on the floor. You will also get a lot more splash on the walls, although a shower screen can help reduce this. I would recommend that you fully tile the room to stop potential damp creeping in. This is especially important if you have young children as they tend to spread more water about the room!

You can opt for a level wet room approach or we can supply the option of a raised wetroom kit. This will help reduce the amount of water across the floor.

Installation

When it comes to installation, there is a myth that you can’t have a wetroom on an upper floor of your home.  This is wrong. It creates a slightly more complex installation process, but it can be done with a little forward planning.

Aside from that, the installation process is quite straightforward bearing in mind that you can purchase a wetroom kit that controls the fall in the floor to ensure proper drainage – the key area to get right. More experienced contractors can also use a screed finish to put the fall into the floor itself.

Not all contractors have installed wetrooms before so we work very closely with the building contractor and fitter to make sure everything runs smoothly. Installation is hugely important to get right, particularly at the first-fix stage as you don’t want to discover your drainage isn’t working once you have your tiles in place.

Alteratives

Shower trayThe success of wetrooms has created a new market for similar products that give you the wetroom look without having to install a wetroom.

Slimline trays and shower enclosures can give the impression of a wetroom but reduce the amount of water on the floor. More recently, shower trays have been launched that you can tile over.

Shower doors and enclosures are also becoming more stylish and are using the wetroom concept to their advantage. It all means that you can opt for the same contemporary, modern look but the room functions more like a traditional bathroom.

Design

I would encourage every self-builder to plan their bathroom at the earliest possible stage of the self-build. Haldane Fisher’s free bathroom design service will allow you to explore all the options available to you. But even if you are at an advanced stage, still come and see us as we can solve any potential problems you may have.

 

Comments (1)

  • At 09.35 on 16 April 2013 - Andy Spence wrote

    Hi Simon, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you Re your questions, a wet screen panel is screwed to the wall and restís on the raised lip of the tray so that when the water runs off the screen it should drain away through the trays waste. Mounting the bottom of the screen anywhere else could result water not draining away properly or at least causing a dirt trap! Feel free to give me a call if you would like to discuss this further Regards Andy Spence

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